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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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we ourselves may be co-responsible to a greater or less
degree if we have been the ones to force them into that
pjredicament. It is in a real and concrete sense, there-
fore, that we may be responsible for one another's sins.
Men can become blindly wilful and passionate if they
have the feeling that they are the victims of great injustice
and that there is nobody who will try to understand.
In the last thirty or forty years we have seen terrible
examples of this; and what a fine thing it would have
been if such people could have said that, though nobody
else understood, still the Christian could be counted upon
to do so. Even if a person or a State has been allowed
to achieve too much power in any part of the world,
without effective local check, so that it is in a position
to know to what a degree it can make any movement it
likes with virtual impunity—here is a condition of
things which carries temptations such as human beings
are hardly ever known to have been able to resist.
Above all we can learn from history the grim truth that
nations take to aggression in turn—the evil is not
inherent in the disposition of a given people. In fact
we can see that successive nations have been branded
in tliis respect as the perpetual aggressors, the eternal
enemies of mankind. We have never quite examined
what the conditions are which make now one nation
and now another so great a menace to its neighbours.
But we know that where men have not reached those
heights at which they are superior to conditions—where
imperfect lumps of human nature like ourselves are
concerned—certain factors and combinations of cir-
cumstance do in fact produce aggressive nationalism.